Next Best Thing

Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Downtown Wichita

Naftzger Park, downtown at the corner of Douglas and St. Francis, has three upcoming events.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Spring began on March 20, but it’s finally feeling official as the outdoor events and activities we look forward to each year start back up.

This coming Saturday, April 3, is opening day for the Kansas Grown Farmers’ Market locations in West Wichita and Derby, and also the Old Town Farmers’ Market.

February is Black History Month, and there are several local opportunities to be entertained and informed this month and well beyond.

If, like me, you miss trivia night at your favorite local bar, get a cocktail to go instead and check out There you’ll find the virtual trivia nights that NPR hosts on a regular basis, with a rotating lineup of familiar NPR voices.

Wichita’s NEA Big Read kicks off this Saturday with a live celebration at 2:30 p.m. on KPTS Channel 8. Usually held in October, last year’s program was pushed back to January 9 through February 21 of this year. The selection is Circe by Madeline Miller — a novel that focuses on the lesser known Greek goddess.


One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is curl up with a blanket and some hot cocoa and watch something festive. Once you’ve blown through all six episodes of The Great British Baking Show: Holidays specials on Netflix, consider adding these local offerings to your queue.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Yes, the winter holidays are going to be different this year, but rather than sulk, let’s look for new ways to come together and honor the holiday season.

Courtesy AIGA Wichita

Last Friday was the First Friday of November, but if—like me—you were still recovering from election night, then you weren’t in any shape to leave the house for an art crawl.


Thankfully, that week is over, and the exhibition Depth of Field: A Wichita Photo Album is still on display.

Courtesy Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Halloween will be here soon, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate outdoors with the little ones: